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The Relationship between the Legend of Faust and Picture of Dorian Gray

Jun 30, 2017 | 0 comments

Jun 30, 2017 | Essays | 0 comments

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The Relationship between the Legend of Faust and Picture of Dorian Gray

Tunstall, D.V., and Oscar Wilde. “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance (2009): n. pag. Print.

According to Tunstall and Wilde’s journal, the novel, the Picture of Dorian Gray, is a reflection of the Legend of Faust. They argue that the story is based on personal moral values pointing out clearly the dangers of moral sacrifice for earthly inevitable desires just like in the Legend of Faust as both characters had to pay dearly for their choices. Dorian loves beauty and his obsession for it makes him stressed that his portrait would remain young as he ages. He wished for the reverse and was ready to give anything for it. Fortunately for him, his wish is granted in exchange for his soul. The same way Faust is an unsuccessful professor who desires power and knowledge which leads him to make a pact with the Devil in exchange for his soul.

Lorang, Elizabeth. “The Picture of Dorian Gray in Cntext: Intertextuallity and Lippincott’s ,Monthly Magazine. “Victorian Periodicals Review (2010): n. pag. Print.

Elizabeth in her journal, views Dorian Gray as a complete resemblance of the legend of Faust. In her view, the main characters, Dorian Gray and Faust in both novels, desires earthly objects like external youth and power, and pursue them in exchange of their most valuable possession, their, soul. The end result of their sacrifice was sorrow as their desires became a burden. They stopped leaving a normal life and had their lives controlled by a dark force because they had lost their human aspect the soul.

McLeod, Deborah S. “Beauty, Objection, and Transcendence: Modernist Aesthetics in The Picture of Dorian Gray and Pale Fire.” (2007): Print.

McLeod suggests that the two characters, Dorian and Faust had a lot in common. For instance, they were both curious to explore the dark side, they were unsatisfied with nature and traded their souls in change their inevitable destiny and they both experienced sorrow after getting their heartily desires and they both got involved in romantic relationship that did not end well and broke their hearts as they become the cause of their death.

Boyiopoulos, Kostas. “The Darkening of the Mirror: Cavafy’s Variations on The Picture of Dorian Gray. Journal of Greek Studies (2012): n. pag. Print.

This journal, by Kostas, relates the Picture of Dorian Gray and the Legend of Faust in terms of the role played by dark forces in their downfall. Kostas writes about the existences of a dark force that influenced the two characters’ regrettable decision. For instance, Kostas links Lord Henry to the devil that convinced Faust to give up his soul for power and knowledge as he plays a significance role in Dorian’s destruction. Lord Henry exploits Dorian’s naivety by tricking him into abandoning his soul for external youth yet he knew the consequences.

Oates, Joyce C. ““The Picture of Dorian Gray”: Wilde’s Parable of the Fall.” Critical Inquiry 7(1980): n. pag. Print.

In both novels, according to Oates’ journal, the characters find it difficult to liberate themselves. They end up living with guilt and regret for a very longtime. For instance, Faust lived under the Devil’s influence for twenty-four years believing that his action were beyond God’s forgiveness since he had violated God’s moral code and did not feel worthy before His presence. However, finally he repents and is freed of his burden and dedicates the rest of his life to noble acts. On the other hand, Dorian struggles to free himself fruitless until he destroys himself by stabbing the portrait with a knife.


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